2012 July » ADL Blogs
July 27, 2012

Hezbollah on Your iPhone: There’s An App for That

Update: The Almanartv application was removed from Apple’s iTunes over the weekend. It was later removed from Google Play for Android.

In the latest example of terrorist organizations exploiting current technology to spread their violent messages, an application was made available on Wednesday through Apple’s iTunes service providing mobile access to content from Hezbollah’s satellite television station, al-Manar.

The new free application, advertised on air by al Manar, directs users to various station content, including speeches by Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah. Al-Manar broadcasts the terrorist group’s messages of hate and violence, disseminates anti-Semitic and anti-American propaganda and glorifies suicide bombings to millions of viewers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hezbollah is a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, and al-Manar was listed as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” by the Department of the Treasury in 2006.Al-Manar has a presence on other internet platforms as well, including a Twitter account with over 17,000 followers and 51,000 messages.

Other terrorist organizations use the microblogging service, including Al Shabaab, a terrorist organization in Somalia which formally merged with Al Qaeda earlier this year. There are also numerous terrorist support pages on Facebook and other social media platforms.

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July 27, 2012

Conference the Latest Sign of Increased Anti-Immigrant Activity in North Carolina

On August 10-11, 2012, an anti-immigrant conference will take place in Wilmington, North Carolina titled, “IIImpact – illegal immigration and the cost to YOU!” The list of conference speakers was announced on July 23 and brings together many of the main anti-immigrant voices in the state as well as some speakers known for their anti-Muslim statements and associations.

The conference is the latest example of an increase in activity by the anti-immigrant players in North Carolina. In 2011, the NC House created the House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy. The Committee has had numerous hearings throughout 2012 and has provided a platform for anti-immigrant and immigrant rights activists to voice their opinions. On June 13, 2012, for example, anti-immigrant leaders including William Gheen, James Johnson and Ron Woodard met with Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R-District 98) to discuss immigration issues. It is unclear at this time what the attendance of the conference will be but anti-immigrant groups in North Carolina have been encouraging people to go to the event for a number of weeks.

Scheduled speakers at the August event include:

William Gheen – Founder/head of the anti-immigrant group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC). Gheen has a long history of hateful rhetoric towards immigrants.  ADL has a lengthy profile on Gheen which can be read here.

James Johnson – Founder/head of the anti-immigrant group North Carolinians for Immigration Reform and Enforcement (NCIFRE). On his Facebook page, Johnson has circulated material from the racist Web site, VDARE.com and the white supremacist group, American Renaissance. Johnson has also attended FAIR’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in the past. 

Ron Woodard – president of the anti-immigrant group, NC Listen. NC Listen is listed on the Web site of the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) as a local affiliate for North Carolina. NC Listen’s mission statement says that it “partners” with FAIR. Woodard has also attended FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in the past. 

Sheriff Sam Page (R-Rockingham) will also be speaking. Page spoke to Congressional Leaders at an event put together by FAIR in May 2012.  In October 2011, Page participated in a panel titled, “Crime Challenges from Illegal Immigration” which was sponsored and moderated by the anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). 

Ilario Pantano – A former candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 and 2012, Pantano has promoted anti-Muslim sentiment. Pantano spoke at both the 2010 and 2011 9/11 rallies in New York City put on by anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller. He has also written the following about the Islamic center close to ground zero: “It is about marking religious, ideological and territorial conquest.” He continued by stating, “This mosque is a martyr-marker honoring the terrorists who less than a decade ago killed thousands of us just two blocks away, and it must be stopped.”

Sue Myrick – retiring NC Congresswoman (R-District 9) who also has a history of anti-Muslim sentiment – she has spoken at the national conference of ACT! for America, one of the largest anti-Muslim groups in the country. She also wrote a forward for the book, Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that’s Conspiring to Islamize America.

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July 27, 2012

Latest Divestment Effort Results in Yet Another Failure for BDS Movement

Opponents of Israel have been engaged in efforts to wage economic warfare against the Jewish State via Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns for several years now. The latest such initiative, which failed this week, was a campaign to pressure Sonoma County in Northern California to stop working with Veolia, a French transportation company that is allegedly guilty of “servicing Israeli settlements in the West Bank.”
A resolution to consider not renewing the county’s contract with Veolia, which provides transit services worth $7 million, was considered on Tuesday by the county’s Human Rights Commission.The commission voted 5-4 against the resolution. It will “hear the issue further” at its August meeting, according to news reports.
In the seven years since the formal launch of an international campaign to boycott Israel, no American college campus in the United States has divested from Israel or companies that work with Israel. No church. No retirement fund. Israeli merchandise, including beauty products, hummus, and couscous, continues to be readily available on store shelves around the country.
Despite the obvious lack of mainstream appeal, many domestic anti-Israel groups – including the “North Coast Coalition for Palestine,” which was responsible for the recent campaign in Sonoma County – seem to be unwilling to recognize defeat. Even a petition circulated by the group, which was posted to the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s Web site, garnered less than 300 signatures.
While these campaigns are used by anti-Israel activists as a delegitimization tactic, they have never had much chance of success. In this case, even if the Human Rights Commission would have voted in favor, it has no power to enact policy and would only have been able to present a recommendation to the county’s Board of Supervisors. Many divestment resolutions that are considered on college campuses are similarly non-binding.

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